HERE’S HOW MY MEN PREPARE FOR ‘LE CRUNCH’
THE squad had last week off so they came back in and went through their medical checks in the morning. We did some light weights to loosen and played some fitness games to flush out any bruising.
In the evening we went to a local restaurant for a meal. We simplify the menu down to three healthy choices — chicken, steak or lamb. Not too much sauce and no alcohol!
FULL contact training, 42 players, no holds barred. It is our big day. There is not much down time. My coaching day starts at 7.30am and I finish at 7.30pm. There are big personalities in the squad who like to blast out French rap music on the boom box.
THE players’ day off. They use the pool, sauna or cryotherapy chamber to help with their recovery. Some of them like to go into Paris for the afternoon but it is a long drive. Recently we watched the documentary about the Springboks, Chasing the Sun.
SOME low contact training and select the team in the morning, before it is announced. Raphael Ibanez, our team manager (right), is the guy who tells the players. It is very ceremonial and you can always see how much it means to them. We have flown over on a private jet recently, but this week we are taking the Eurostar.
WE WILL get an hour’s access to the Twickenham pitch but you never use your full slot because it will take too much out of your legs. It is more important for the kickers to come in and get a feel for the wind and the size of the in-goal area. We will have the shirt presentation at the hotel in the evening and then the guys relax and get an early night.